Personalise Messages and Stand Out

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Personality
Photo by Aki Jinn

There are millions of blogs out there. You need to stand out from all the rest; be different to be remembered. However, standing out doesn’t just mean using a custom theme, it means customising every part of your blog, including the default messages.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2007 at 9:17 pm and is filed under General Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

We’ve all seen that message on blogs before, and what opinion does it give you of said blog usually?

It doesn’t. That’s the problem. The owner hasn’t bothered to put some personality into the blog, and as such, you have nothing to remember it by.

This is the most extreme example of course. The quoted paragraph is usually changed (removed?) by blog owners, simply because it is so over-worded and unfriendly to readers. What other lines in your blog can be given a personality of their own?

Encouraging Comment Messages

When your post has 0 comments, you want to do everything you can to encourage that to change. Wordpress offers an easy method of doing this through comments.php. Simply enter the message you would like to display where you see the line:

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5 Ways To Jazz Up Your 404 Page

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Sorry I lost Your Files!Inevitably, someone will wind up on an error page on your website. It has to happen. It just wouldn’t be the internet if everything worked out perfectly. So, how are you going to prepare for these visitors?

This article isn’t a guide to how to create custom 404 errors pages. It’s very easy to do, just Google for it and you’ll find a million results like this one.

1 – Be Funny

Your reader has just been landed in a dead end. They’re annoyed and aggravated at the loss of their time, not to mention the fact that they now have to resume their search for whatever information they were after in the first place. What better way is there to cheer them up than to make a joke?

My favourite example of this is at Lizzdmc Productions, where the 404 page offers a psychiatric analysis before advising you on what to do next. This is also the approach I have tried to take with Pro Blog Design, where you’ll find I modified a popular parody of The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe.

2 – Be Helpful

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The Crucial Ingredients of a First Impression

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Not Cooking IngredientsIt is a fact that on the web, users have a ruthlessly short attention span. You might have as little as just a few seconds to sell your blog to the heartless reader, so how can you make the most of those precious seconds?

What do they ‘need’ to get from the first impression?

Everyone is searching for something, a certain piece of information they need. There are billions of web pages online, and the vast majority of those pages do not have the information they need. In the few seconds before they click off onto the next page, you need to convince your reader that you have what they’re after, not just a lot of adverts. This comes down to only two pieces of information:

  1. What this blog is about.
  2. What this page is about.

What is this blog about?

This question is the one most often forgotten by blog owners, for the sole reason that you are far too familiar with your own blog. How could they not know that the blog is about baking secrets? Have you not been writing about every type of pastry under the sun for the past two years?? Well, yes, but they don’t know that.

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